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Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
January 19, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King; Reflecting on his Dream, Legacy
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By Bill Mesta, Military Sealift Command Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Military Sealift Command (MSC) hosted a special observance ceremony to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. onboard Naval Station Norfolk, Jan. 19.

The celebration was coordinated by MSC's equal employment opportunity team and was held to commemorate Dr. King's leadership against racial inequality.

The special observance included the reading of the presidential proclamation, which was presented by Lt. Cmdr. Kevin McGraw of MSC's N-4 department.

"When the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream with the world atop the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he gave mighty voice to our founding ideals," read McGraw. "Few could have imagined that nearly half a century later, his iconic profile would forever be memorialized in stone, standing tall and gazing outward, not far from where he stirred our collective conscience to action."

Dr. King is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor. He is also the only non-president to be honored in the National Mall at the nation's capital, Washington D.C.

"As we reflect on Dr. King's legacy, we celebrate a man and a movement that transformed our country, and we remember that our freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of others," McGraw continued. "Given the causes he championed, from civil rights and international peace to job creation and economic justice, it is right that today we honor his work by serving others."

According to Senior Chief Yeoman Nashera Brown, assigned to MSC's administrative team, the federal holiday recognizing Dr. King's legacy takes place annually on the third Monday in January.

"The theme for this year's holiday is 'Remember! Celebrate! Act! A day on! Not a day off!,'" said Brown. "We are calling on the American people to engage in public service and promote peaceful social change."

The keynote speaker for MSC's special observance was Mr. J.R. Lock, the executive director of Hampton University Business Incubator.

"We are here to celebrate and remember the efforts of Dr. King. Our nation is facing some challenging times. We want to do all that we can to try and eliminate many of the problems in our society today," said Lock. "Dr. King was a great leader and he was a humble man. I have a very strong admiration for what Dr. King stood for and his fight for justice, equality, diversity and inclusion."

"Dr. King was a consensus builder and once said, 'A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus,'" Lock added.

Dr. King is widely regarded as America's pre-eminent advocate of non-violence and one of the greatest non-violent leaders in world history.

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